Social Media is playing a larger role in marketing, and the challenge over the last few years has been measuring and tracking it. Companies want to know what is the ROI of their marketing efforts in the Social Media ecosystem, and that still remains as one of their top challenges to date. More tools are becoming available and we will be discussing a couple of them. As a result of the need to track, measure, and improve their respective Social Media exposure, the industry has generated some new metrics that just a few short years ago just did not exist. One such metric is the Share of Voice metric, and although it was in existence before for “traditional” marketing, it has now a new meaning in the age of Internet Marketing, and even more so in the age of Social Media Marketing. According to Wikipedia the definition as it relates to “traditional” marketing is as follows:
A Share of Voice is a brand’s or group of brands’ advertising weight expressed as a percentage of a defined total market or market segment in a given time period. The weight is usually defined in terms of expenditure, ratings, pages, poster sites etc.
The Share of Voice definition as we use it within this article and as it relates to Social Media Marketing is as follows:
The number of conversations about your company versus your competitors/market.
In Internet Marketing as in Social Media Marketing, Competitive Intelligence (or the gathering of actionable information obtained from one’s competitors) plays a critical role. Why is it crucial to track how many conversations one’s brand produces? Well, the more people talk about your brand, the more exposure it gets, and the more exposure it gets, the more visible it is, which is one of the primordial goals of branding and marketing. The attention of one’s target market is limited. Having several companies vying for that limited attention can drive to fierce competition. Thus it is critical to not only measure one’s reach but also compare it to one’s competitors. The result is the “Share of Voice”. This “big picture” metric can not only be measured across the entire Social Media ecosystem, but also in each individual Social Network. So, it may identify areas of strength and weakness, which could lead to strategies as to how one could leverage a particular Social Network with a strong Share of Voice in order to fortify another Social Network with a weaker Share of Value.
So how can an organization go about tracking the Share of Voice? There are a couple of tools available. One is SocialMention, which is a free tool but will only give your total number of mentions across a wide number of Social Media channels. Another alternative, which is more targeted at larger companies is Radian6 from Salesforce.com. Although it is a larger investments, the benefits are vast:
In order to improve something, one has to be able to measure it. Analytics play a fundamental role in any marketing effort but in the arena of Internet Marketing where practically everything is measurable, it is of particular importance. Knowing and understanding the wide variety of metrics is an integral part of any solid Online Strategy. Share of Voice is only one of many such metrics and its proper use can lead to significant optimization of Online Marketing.
This article was written by Pablo Davidov